Rules of the Countryside

When you and your family are on a camping holiday there are certain things you should be aware of; these are known as the Countryside Code and have been in existence since the 1950’s. Of course these rules don’t just apply to individuals or families on camping holidays; they apply to anyone using the countryside.

What is The Countryside Code?

The Countryside Code – as we have already touched upon – are a series of rules that have been put in place by the government and the Department of the Environment to ensure that everyone understands and respects the countryside around them. These rules are not just aimed at tourists who come to Britain but are also aimed – more so – at the Great British tourists who are exploring the green and pleasant lands on their doorstep.

It is important to note that whilst these rules have been in operation since the 1950’s they are periodically updated; 2004 being the last time they were revised.

What the Countryside Code Consists of

Planning Ahead

This is a must for anyone planning a journey or excursion. This is most imperative if you are planning to mountaineer or hike on fells or moor land that you have not been to before. It is very easy to become lost or disorientated especially in wide open spaces such as the fells so planning ahead and having an up-to-date ordnance survey map is paramount. You can pick up an ordnance survey map from your local tourist information office alternatively most areas such as the fells and some larger mountains will have tourist information centres onsite.

Consideration for the Property of Others

Many people when on holiday forget about the consequences of their actions once they return home. It is not necessarily a deliberate act but it can be something that causes problems if you do not consider your surroundings especially if they are unfamiliar to you. When crossing fields or pastures where it is necessary to open gates you must ensure that each gate is secured after you have opened it. It only takes a moment to check and secure the gates and likewise it can only take a moment for stray cattle to wander into country roads.

Also as part of the consideration of other people’s property it is important that any litter you create – which may be as a result of a picnic or eating on the move – is bagged up and taken with you. It is worth noting how easily it is for wild animals to become tangled in our litter or to choke on bottle tops or plastic bags if left behind.

Controlling Your Dog

If you are one of the many thousands of fell walkers or hikers who takes their dog with them on holiday it is of the utmost importance that you keep your dog under control at all times. By all means you are permitted to have your dog beside you without a lead but if there are people coming in the other direction or animals in the area then your dog should be placed back on its lead and muzzled if necessary. Be aware that a dog running through a field can cause untold distress to farm animals as well as wild animals and as a result of which if you are found to be breaking the law you are libel to pay a hefty fine and also have your animal destroyed.

Traffic in the Countryside

If you are taking a vehicle with you – indeed if you have berthed your caravan at a local caravan park and are taking in the sights in your car – you must pay special attention to road signs around you. Many country roads are narrow, winding roads which only facilitate one lane of traffic in either direction so you should maintain the required speed at all times and slow down on bends to allow for other vehicles coming in the opposite direction. Again in the countryside there may be higher volumes of farm machinery on the roads so it is important to give plenty of room and allow right of way where it is needed.

If you follow these simple guidelines then you will be playing your part – not only in maintaining the countryside environment – but also in reducing risk to the animals and the people of the country as well.

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